Sunday, October 16, 2011

life on our little boat

We struggled with this a good bit, even as it was the highlight of our trip. We had a difficult time with the fact that there were 4 people on this little sampan, there just to take care of our every little need. They helped us, fed us, gave us cold water and cold wet towels, they escorted us and guided us, they covered us when it rained and opened the windows when it stopped raining, they prepared our food and served it and cleaned up our messes. They were three sweet and adorable young boys, and a very sweet 64-year old guide. In addition to that, there we sat on these rattan chairs on the front of the boat, gliding down the Mekong River, among hardworking people's daily lives. What we spent on a 2.5-day glide down the river would've stunned the people whose lives we watched. We were also the spectacle, of course.

it was raining the morning of our first full day, so we had breakfast just inside. when it stopped raining, those bamboo doors were removed and our chairs were carried out to the deck.
our regular daily view
we'd dock, and the boys would scurry around bringing a chair for me to step down on as I left the boat.
then they'd help me back into the boat. i can't remember this without getting choked up.
so that's the boat -- the first set of 3 curtains is our "living area" with a small couch, a table, a flat-screen tv and a set of DVDs (including Apocalypse Now, which kind of freaked me out) and a couple books. the next windows were in our bedroom. the back structure is where the crew sat. we have no idea where they slept.
making notes in our living area. this was taken immediately after we boarded; they'd given us cold green coconuts to drink.
and here we sit. it had been raining, so our chairs were taken in just under the covered roof. when it stopped raining, the crew would dash out and move our chairs out to the deck.
Marc, sitting in the front watching the river run.
with our breakfast, we got these tiny little squat bananas that were sweet as candy.
our really delicious lunch, prepared, served, and cleaned up by the crew

cruising down the river and making notes

The evening breezes were sweet and cool; I shivered with the pleasure of it, and with the very real awe of where I was sitting.

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